Maxed Out 

This show must go on


To: Leonard " The Lion" Asper

Grand Fromage, Canwest Global

From: The Think Tank

Re: Emergency Replacement Programming


Just wanted to update you on a show we’re holding back for an emergency, mid-season – yeah, we know, more likely an early-season – replacement for whichever misguided idea tanks first this fall. You’ll love this, Boss.

Setting: Clearly the success of CTV’s Corner Gas has shown the country’s appetite for quirky, non-urban, slice o’ life settings peopled with an assortment of bumbling bumpkins. The only flaw in this current incarnation of Green Acres is that it’s not playing so well with the uber hip, tattooed, sexually-confused, urban youth.

Solution? Move the concept to the atmospherically cool, rarefied confines of Canada’s hippest, most self-absorbed small town: Whistler. What a combo, Lenny. You’ve got the beauty of British Columbia’s wilderness – or what seems like wilderness to most of the rest of the country – you’ve got a veritable hobo’s stew of beautiful people, fabulously wealthy dilettantes, idealistic youth, aging hippies, hard-scrabble opportunists and happily-oppressed worker drones all thrown together in what would be, sans ski hills, an unremarkable, remote mountain town.

You’ve got the upcoming Olympics hanging over the town, depending on your glass half-full, half-empty point of view, like the Sword of Damocles or the Golden Fleece.

You’ve got the conundrum of a town peopled largely by thrill seekers, who can barely afford to live there unless they work a couple of jobs and stuff themselves into rental housing with enough instant roommates to make the Little Old Lady Who Lived in a Shoe look like an empty-nester, vilified by the rest of the province who think everyone residing there is indolent and filthy rich. You see the Animal House plotlines here, Lenny?

But best of all, I mean absolutely best of all, is the totally bizarre, absolutely wacky cast of characters seeking political office.

First off, you’ve got to understand that politics in Whistler – both the real town and the lightly fictionalized town around which we’ll build the show – is part contact sport, Rollerderby comes to mind, and part addiction-obsession.

Quick flashback for the opening episode: Whistler is thrown into chaos, a state with which it is more than passingly familiar, when its long-serving mayor, a former ski bum/patroller/chimney sweep just to add some colour, comes back from a Hawaiian vacation and drops a bombshell on the entire town. He’s decided not to run for re-election – it was universally assumed he would both run and be easily returned – but has decided to follow his dream, new dream, of selling resort condos in Maui for Intraborg, a thinly fictionalized company who just also happens to be the biggest employer/power in Whistler. Tanned, relaxed, and with a new jones for surfing as big as the waves they call Jaws in Maui surfspeak, Hizzonor announces he ain’t runnin’ and he ain’t quittin’; he’ll just happily tread water, so to speak, and telecommute from the beach for the remainder of his term.


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